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This review is from: NF-F12 iPPC-2000 IP67 Fan with Focused Flow™ and SSO2 Bearing, Retail
Pros: First, these fans are based off of the normal NF-F12 platform which has been used as intake fans, exhaust fans, and radiator fans for the better part of a decade, the design (high static pressure, quiet, low energy use) has been made better by using a more efficient motor design (six-pole and three phase vs. four-pole and one phase) that results in less "torque" momentum and smoother spinning, but also allows for higher rpm operation (2000rpm) vs. the standard NF-F12 PWM (1500rpm) at only 0.1A. So you get more of the noctua performance, with a very insignificant (0.05w) boost in power use. They also have a different type of plastic that is of higher build quality than normal NF-F12s, and they're IP67, so they can be used in watery / dusty conditions that would ruin normal fans (dust-tight, and waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes)
As far as being exhaust fans, they are static-pressure optimized, at 3.94mm H2O, which means they will be quite good at moving air in your case through restrictive filters or holes (ie: air coolers, rear-exhaust), At full speed (2000rpm), they can move about 71 cfm, so a stock 140mm case fan may not be able to provide sufficient intake to alleviate a negative pressure situation which may cause dust to enter. Nonetheless, because they move a great deal of air, and can do so through restrictive environments, they're great for removing CPU heat / GPU heat / residual heat from a computer. Just make sure you have sufficient intake. I use dual NF-A14 iPPC 2000rpm fans for intake - they can bring in over 200cfm combined, so the "lack of intake" problem is alleviated for me.
Where these fans really shine though, is as radiator fans. I have them on a Swiftech H220x AIO expandable water cooler, and they are tasked with pulling hot air and heat away from an Intel Core i7-4790K with a 4.2GHz OC and a memory controller dealing with 32GB of DDR3-2400 RAM. Compared to the stock Helix fans that come with the unit (they can go from 800 to 1800rpm; the Noctuas go from about 700rpm to 2000rpm), temperatures at the CPU dropped 3 Degrees C using the fans as intakes compared to the stock Helix fans as intakes, and dropped 5 to 6 Degrees C when the NF-F12s in this review were used as exhausts.
They also have a more pleasing noise than the Helix fans, having a lower pitched woosh rather than a high-pitched whir. I put this to partially the fan shroud design, the blade design (thick blades vs. many thin, sickle-esque blades), and the frequency of the fan's motors. They work better with the fan noises my GPU and PSU make, and thus don't stand out or create undue interference with my work / gaming. When gaming, they spin up, become loud, and aid in my CPU not exceeding 55 Deg C while gaming, and remove enough heat to keep my GPU (780 Ti Classified @ Stock) from exceeding 65 Deg C.
Cons: At startup, these fans can be a bit noisy since for approximatey 3 to 5 seconds they spin at full speed. However, once the BIOS is booted up, the fans reduce their noise to the more typical low-pitched drawl that I find pleasing. This comes down more to the motherboard BIOS and how it works, but it can be off-putting to have more than one of these at full-speed for an extended period of time if one is used to quieter (and / or silent) case fans.
They can be expensive, so try to find them on sale (they're usually $30 to $35 each). I bought 3 of them (2 for my H220x as pull fans; one for the rear exhaust), but the warranty, build quality, etc., makes it worth it. Sure, one can find delta fans for $10 more, but they will spin at up to 7,000rpm, use upwards of 4 amps (48w) of energy each, and require a molex controller for each fan (and they can exceed 70db). So the price issue is somewhat ameliorated by the quality / quiet / performance per dollar; and the ability to plug into a standard 4-pin motherboard connector without blowing it up (most mobo PWM connectors are only made to handle 1 Amp per fan).
Lastly, although the brown color scheme is largely gone, they still have brown rubber bumpers. Thankfully, they can be removed should you not have the space in the case for them, or simply want a much more desirable all-black motif (the latter reason being why I removed mine).
Other Thoughts: Along with two NF-A14 IPPC 2000rpm IP67 fans as intakes, I have three of the NF-F12s for exhausting purposes (1 for rear exhaust, 2 to pull air through a Swiftech H220-x for "the chimney effect" in a rig configured as follows
Case: Corsair Obsidian 350D
Motherboard: Asus Maximus VII GENE
CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K @ 4.2GHz
RAM: 32GB Corsair Vengeance Pro DDR3-2400
SSD: Samsung 850 Pro 256GB
GPU: EVGA GTX 780 Ti Classified
PSU: Seasonic SS-1050XP3 1050w 80 Plus Platinum PSU
Cooler: Swiftech H220x 2x120mm AIO Expandable Liquid Cooler
Although the 3 fans were close to $100 combined, they have significantly improved my mATX rig's ability to cool itself both by removing ambient heat that resides as a result of the GPU, as well as improve the H220x's ability to remove heat through increased static pressure. Yes, the overall fan cost was expensive, but when one has an overstuffed "small rig", every extra mm of static pressure, every cubic foot of airflow, helps in a small way to remove unwanted heat from the rig.
However, that is not to say that these are a cure-all for poor wire / cable management. Yes, they will move more air out of your system (or into your system if they are intakes), but the ultimate responsibility to make the computer have as much focused, yet free-flowing, airflow, as possible rests on the consumer's ability to use whatever cable management (in back of the motherboard, below the GPU, etc.,) exists to ensure that interruptions / hindrances are reduced. If you have good, clean cable management, a radiator that you want more heat removal capabilities, and are willing to get multiple 140mm fans for intakes, then these fans are incredible exhaust / radiator fans.
They're keepers (as are my NF-A14s I reviewed that currently reside as intakes)
Pros: I bought 2 of these fans to use as intake on my Corsair 350D mATX case. Specs will be in "Other Thoughts"
First things first: even though these fans are higher rpm fans compared to their normal NF-A14 brethren (2000rpm v. 1500rpm), they use less amperage from the fan-header in order to achieve this result. The better motor that these fans have means that they can put out higher rpms, with less energy, which puts less stress on the header, the motherboard, etc., This translates not only into more rpms (and better cooling), but also a quieter fan due to less resistance at the motor level. I have 2 of these as an intake in my 350D, and other than the initial startup (when all fans go to max settings for a few seconds), the computer is actually very quiet. A quiet PC that brings in a LOT of cool air (each of these fans is good for over 100cfm and over 4mm of static pressure, and at idle still brings in cool-to-hand air into the PC), is a happy PC. For those wondering, all that static pressure is good when there's a dust filter and a front fascia in front of the intake, but EXTREMELY good when put with a radiator... the higher the static pressure with a radiator, the more airflow in the desired direction.
Second, these fans as intakes bring a lot of cool air to a completely non-reference GPU (my 780 Ti Classified) that is living in an mATX case. Because of how much air these fans can move, and combined with the Classified's larger-than-normal ACX fans, I have yet to see GPU temps climb above 64 Deg C when gaming or benchmarking. What does this ability to keep components cool translate to? A longer lifespan for the components in your computer (GPU, mobo, CPU, etc.,). Do note though, that if you have a non-reference GPU that exhausts air into the case, you may have to load up the available fan-space with more than one of these fans in order to maximize the ability to remove hot air from a case - particularly a smaller case such as the 350D.
Lastly, build quality / appearance. For those who are wondering, yes the brown rubber anti-vibration mounts are removable, so it is possible to remove any vestige of the "brown" that these noctuas may have. However, what is more important is build quality. These fans don't have flex, the blades are all consistent to the expected NF-A14 design, there are no grooves or other imperfections in the blades, and there is a 6-year warranty with them. Did I mention they're dust-proof and highly water-resistant? (1m submersion for 30 minutes). Even if you're not in a field where there is a lot of dust / particulates, I'd still recommend these fans because this certification may reduce the amount of "dead fan" claims that your business gets.
Cons: Just one. They are quite loud at start-up... for all of five seconds as the computer goes to POST. Other than that, they're nearly silent (unless you're running a CPU benchmark such as AIDA64). Also, if putting 2 of them in a small case (ie: obsidian 350D), they can be difficult to finagle into position. Not a fault of the fan, but something to be known.
To get the fans in, I had to remove the brown anti-vibration mounts. I then had to preload the screws that would go to the outer 4 corners, then slide the fans in in a v-shape until they lay flat. The top corners in my 350D would partially hide the screw. Once the dual 140s were flush to the 350D's screwholes, screw in the TOP screws first, then the bottom ones. You then have a large rectangle, but the fans are posted and secure. Now do the 4 screws closest to the center of the fan-stack you made, and dual 140s will fit.
Other than that, nothing to report.
Other Thoughts: here are the specs:
CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K @ 4.2GHz
GPU: nVidia GTX 780 Ti Classified
RAM: 32GB Corsair Vengeance Pro DDR3-2400
SSD: Samsung 850 Pro
Cooler: Swiftech H220-x
PSU: Seasonic SS-1050XP3 80 Plus Platinum
Mobo: Asus Maximus VII Gene
My COmputer idles in the high 20s / low 30s C for the CPU, and the GPU idles in the mid 20s Deg C. My room temp is 21 Deg C for the exam, based on my room barometer / thermometer combo. Would definitely buy again, and if I had a larger case, put more of them in. 3000rpm is overkill unless you have a 60mm radiator in back (or in front) of them.
Pros: Seasonic isn't as "pre-eminent" as say Corsair, Coolermaster, etc., but they are an ODM that has been building power supplies since 1975. In computer terms, they're one of - if not the - oldest and most established brands in computing. This PSU, being Seasonic's 1050w version, is no exception. It's a no-frills, legitimately 80 Platinum, PSU that gives seven years' warranty, and doesn't require a Degree in Computer Science to figure out what's going on.
I upgraded my PSU from an RM850 (not a bad PSU) because my 780 Ti Classified stressed it out to where it could only deliver 11.8v to the GPU at gaming / benchmarking load at stock clocks. This PSU, with not only more efficiency, higher wattage, and better 12v delivery, provides not only a tighter-to-12v tolerance (12.05 to 12.06v at the GPU), but less voltage fluctuation (the 12v at the 780 Ti stays put at 12.06v, whereas the RM850 would fluctuate between 11.77v and 11.8v). For OC'd GPUs, this voltage consistency is very important for stability (whether it's factory OC'd, or OC'd via third-party means).
Also, the PSU switches are a huge pro. The back switch is ENORMOUS, which not only makes it easy to turn on and off the PSU (I do this because my motherboard has a "breathing effect" that "nightlights" my room, but there is a 2nd, smaller, switch that allows you to control the fan spin-model. It can be confusing, but if the O-position is locked in, the PSU is in fanless mode until it reaches 35 Deg C, at which point it spins up. The I mode is the more traditional "always-on" mode. I prefer "always-on" simply as a matter of knowing it's on, but for those who wish to have one less fan contributing noise, it's a welcome option. Compared to the RM, which was arbitrarily silent until at 30% load, this can be more reassuring as the fan is always on.
Build quality is incredible. Thick paint on the grey fan cover, a clear and detailed breakdown of each rail's capabilities, and a public disclosure of 80 Plus Platinum certification. All of the capacitors are japanese (Nippon Chemi-Con and Rubycon, if my memory serves), and the plugs from the cables into the PSU, as well as into the applicable components are solid, and although they may require some force for full connection, once they're in, they click, and that's it. The force needed may be a bit more than one is used to, but the build quality is such that the connection-result is going to ultimately outweigh reservations. Having a Sanyo Denki 120mm fan doesn't hurt either... more insane build quality there.
Lastly, the price for what you get. You get a platinum seasonic PSU (where you don't have to investigate who actually built your PSU), at a cost that is reasonable for what Seasonic offers. No, it's not "valuemax" or some other brand where you save $50 and get cheap internals, I'd rather put my money towards a tank of a PSU, than save $50 on the PSU and have to buy new components after a PSU's demise.
Cons: First, the amount of force needed to put in the connectors at both the PSU end as well as the component end, can be a bit off-putting to new builders, or those expecting "easy-to-insert" clicks. Additionally, with the connectors, the 24-pin connector's PSU side is a bit unusual; it's a 9-pin and a 5-pin. This is fine, but the amount of cabling provided to daisy-chain the two is a bit short (and the resulting cable is a bit stiff. It may not be a problem in larger cases (ie: 750D-class), but in the Obsidian 350D that this is housed in, it requires patience and precision to properly plug in the connectors.
Second (and admittedly, this one is quite subjective), Seasonic doesn't include a console suite that allows the end-user to monitor power properties of the PSU. This one's subjective in the sense that although Corsair and other companies have been promoting various power monitoring utilities, Seasonic chooses to limit the "user-interface" to the "fan-mode" switch. The benefit is simplicity in operation, but the cons are more for diagnostic purposes... is my PSU giving me its advertised efficiency, how many watts am i using in gaming / benching / OC mode, how are my PSU's internal temperatures, etc., To have an option that would allow me to view these properties - if I elected to do so - would be a nicety that would allow end-users to determine what they're using relative to the PSU's actual capacity.
Lastly, (again, subjective since it's in a smaller-than-desired rig) I would have liked for the 24-pin connector to have been flat. Yes, it fits in my 350D's "cable management area", but the fit is very tight and I have to make sure no other wires are crossing its path. Otherwise my case won't close. It's not a knock on the PSU, because it's intended for larger cases with more cable management room, but it has to be known that its 24-pin cable may remove it from the top of your "small form factor" build list.
Other Thoughts: This is a no-frills, high-quality PSU that may lack software to wow you (or software to let you know the health of the PSU), but makes up for it with a 40-year reputation, simplicity in use, and sheer quality. Although I only run one 780 Ti Classified and a mildly OC'd 4790K with a Swiftech H220x liquid loop for cooling, knowing that I have room to expand for SLi'ing future GPUs, as well as knowing that the power delivery will be consistent to power-hungry components, is what mattered most to me. The SS-1050 XP3 by Seasonic does this.
This PSU's closest cousin is the Cooler Master V1000, and although they share many of the same parts, the quality on the Seasonic edition is higher (bigger capacitors for not only better power delivery, but sufficient power to survive the "16ms power loss test" where power is dropped for 1hz. It's not as typical of a test as say, voltage consistency under heavy load, but it's nice to know that Seasonic takes this into consideration when building its PSUs. It's also Platinum vs. the V1000's gold rating.
Another thought: The baggies that hold the cables, as well as the faux-velvet bag the PSU arrives in, are nice touches that let you know you bought a premium product. I like that, and although it's commonplace, I like Seasonic's presentation the best. Simple, but effective.
One thing I will say, I wish Seasonic made larger PSUs - since at this level (ie: over 1000w), many are making 1500w PSUs (ie: Lepa G1600, Corsair AX1500i, EVGA 1600 G2 / P2, etc.,) designed for 4-way SLi and / or extreme overclocking. And perhaps an 80 Titanium PSU. Seasonic's reliability is insane, but there's nothing wrong with pushing the boundaries of what's possible in the process.
But that's just reflections... as a PSU, this one's a keeper.